Next time you’re sitting in traffic, standing up on a jam-packed train, or puffing your way up a steep hill on a bike, ask yourself if there’s a better way to commute to work. The answer is yes. The answer is an electric bike.
Requiring just a little effort on your own part to keep the wheels spinning, e-bikes are the perfect moderate exercise for a commute because you can ride without breaking a sweat. They’re also generally faster and more comfortable than taking public transport to work and, in the long run, they’re cheaper too.
But e-bikes are not just for commuting. Mountain bikers in particular will enjoy the electric assistance when climbing hills. Below you’ll find our top picks for riding to work, hitting the trails and even touring. For more info on what to look for in an e-bike, try our expert buyer’s guide.
The Best Electric Bikes For Commuting
Ridgeback E-Flight Di2
The Di2 makes commuting as easy as possible, with a lightweight (for an e-bike) design that can be ridden even without assist should the battery run dry, automatic gear shifting and lights that run off the main battery. The range is around 90km in the lowest setting, 70-75km in medium and 50-55km in high. £2,599, buy on ridgeback.co.uk
RECOMMENDED: Ridgeback E-Flight Di2 Electric Bike Review
Emu Cross Bar
Quality hybrid e-bikes that cost under £1,000 are not easy to find, making this stylish city bike from British brand Emu a very attractive option for those on a budget. It’s sturdy, the range is 80km (on the lowest level of assistance) even if you opt for the smallest 10.4Ah battery (the largest battery available is 13.6Ah, which will last 100km and costs £200 more), and it even has a built-in USB port so you can charge your phone while riding. £999, buy on emubikes.com
Pinnacle Lithium Ion
Pinnacle is Evans Cycles’ in-house brand, and its Lithium range of regular hybrid bikes are reliable and popular options for commuters, so it makes sense that this electric adaptation of the Lithium is similarly impressive. It weighs in at just under 20kg, which is impressive for a sturdy hybrid e-bike, and provides a very smooth ride once up to speed. Ideal for both trips to and from the office and longer weekend rides. £1,800, buy on evanscycles.com
The GoCycle 3 is like no other e-bike out there, but that uniqueness comes at a heavy cost – £3,499 to be precise. Look past the price, however, and you’ll find a lightweight, portable city bike with 80km of range. The long dashboard gives all the info on battery life and assistance, the latter of which can be customised via an app, and the hidden motor is powerful enough to aid you up any hill. £3,499, buy on gocycle.com
The Best Folding Electric Bikes
Folding bikes often sacrifice some range by opting for a smaller battery so they can be carried comfortably, but the Volt Metro manages over 80km while remaining eminently portable. It also has a throttle to provide an extra burst of speed away from traffic lights, and comes with integrated lights. £1,299, buy on voltbikes.co.uk
RECOMMENDED: Volt Metro Electric Bike Review
If you’re looking for a cheap folding e-bike for short commutes, the Coyote Connect is hard to top. It has three levels of assist and enough juice for 30km of cycling – although you won’t want to test those limits if you have a big hill near the end of your ride because the power can drop off when the battery is close to empty. £500, buy on halfords.com
The Best Electric Mountain Bikes
Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Comp 6Fattie
A concealed motor helps you up the hills on this electric mountain bike, and then the fat tyres help you control the extra weight of the battery as you fly back down. One especially smart feature is that you can manage how much battery you want to use via an app. For example, if you want to have 10% of juice left when you get to the end of a 40km ride, set it up on the app and it will automatically adjust your assistance levels to conserve that amount. £4,049, buy on evanscycles.com
Trek Powerfly 9 LT Plus
The fact that this MTB comes in a colour Trek calls “roarange” shouldn’t be the only reason you buy it, but it will certainly help tip you over the edge if you’re on the fence. Full suspension and a powerful Bosch motor will make any day on the trails a joy no matter how tough or uneven the terrain gets, and the clear display means you can keep tabs on your speed and battery life even when bouncing down a rocky track. £5,250, buy on trekbikes.com
The Best Electric Bike For Touring
Giant Road E+1
This sexy little number boasts a huge range of 130km in the lowest level of assist, although that will drop sharply if you ramp up the boost when tackling the hills on your long rides. That said, the lightweight frame and racing profile of the bike should mean you’re spending an awful lot of time going faster than 25km/h when the assist cuts out by law, which will conserve some battery, and the Road E+1 is also comfortable to ride without assist if you do run out of battery. £2,749, buy on giant-bicycles.com